Eurozone finance ministers approved on Tuesday the latest bailout aid for Greece, ending a six-month stand-off between Athens and its international lenders.
Meeting informally in Athens, EU ministers agreed to disburse a first tranche of over 6 billion euros to be paid at the end of April. Greece will receive two more payments of 1 billion euros in June and July.
“We are pleased that the fourth review can now be drowned to a close. We have now a positive outcome. The Greek government is implementing or committed to undertake in the near term important reforms that will enhance Greece’s growth potential, create job opportunities and spur investments.’ said Eurogroup’s president Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
The bailout tranche of a total 8.3 billion euros comes just in time to help repay a €9bn bond maturing in May.
Greece’s parliament narrowly passed on Sunday another set of reforms to meet the bailout conditions imposed by the Troika.
“Many structural reforms have been undertaken but some more need to be undertaken. The most important thing now is to fully implement all the structural reforms that have been agreed.’ said ECB’s chief Mario Draghi.
Greek police banned protests in Athens ahead of the meeting, citing security reasons.
Demonstrators were not allowed to rally in the city center, including Syntagma Square where previous violent demonstrations against austerity measures took place.